Labyrinth Theater's world-premiere set in the 1980s about a 37-year old woman who has become an accidental spinster. More…
In suburban Massachusetts in 1984, thirty-seven year-old Josephine Rosen has a dead end job, still lives with her mother, and has settled into the uncomfortable comfort of an unintended spinsterhood. But when a chance flirtation with a old classmate and a new friendship at work give her hope for the possibility of change, she dusts off the Jane Fonda tapes, and begins to take tentative steps towards a new life. A play about the tragedy and joy of figuring out who you are and letting go of who you were supposed to be.
"A tenderly drawn drama by Melissa Ross about stunted lives in a middle-class suburb of Boston...The most affecting passages are the scenes between Jo and Donny, in which they sit on the porch and gradually reveal the loneliness and disappointment that have settled in their hearts...Although it’s a modest play, 'Nice Girl' never strikes a dishonest note." Full Review
"This is a world of modest dreams, and happiness always feels just slightly out of reach. Yet there is a sense of hope that gives momentum to the play. And in spite of the serious struggles of the characters, the play manages to be quite funny – sort of embracing the spirit of you have to laugh or else you’ll cry." Full Review
"'Nice Girl,' beautifully written by Melissa Ross, follows the quiet rhythms of characters, particularly Jo, ruminating in silence. This was before cellphones and other distracting devices stole our reflecting time, so Jo's inner life engages us...Under Mimi O'Donnell's superb direction, 'Nice Girl's' wistful wisdom makes for excellent theater." Full Review
"On the surface, this play is deceptively simple, but playwright Melissa Ross dives into the deep end, exploring Jo’s world with layers and nuance and tremendous heart... Every line of dialogue counts here. Ross’s observations about life and happiness strike more than few chords. Each beat of this play rings true and I was fully engaged from start to finish. I hope this gem of a script has life beyond this production." Full Review
"The pacing of the show makes the two hours, 15 minutes go by quickly...The acting is superb. The lights complement each scene and the sound brings you back to the eighties and affirms the setting easily...The ending leaves us with just as many questions as it does answers and the smallest grain of hope rests in the last moment. Perhaps this play will even inspire you to believe in the possibility of change." Full Review
"Strong performances from the cast and a detailed, well-designed set help to make this an enthralling production. While the plot and premise of 'Nice Girl' may not sound particularly unique or enticing, this appealing and compelling piece is proof that a high-quality production featuring exceptional actors can make what might seem like a run of the mill storyline into something extraordinary." Full Review
"Mimi O’Donnell and playwright Ross share the soft touch needed for a story that could easily derail into caricature, especially since it takes place in 1984, complete with references to Tab, Jane Fonda workout videos and Lean Cuisine...The cast is very good at creating real people whose decisions you understand, no matter how dumb or short-sighted they may seem...By the end of the play, we can only hope they’re going to be OK — that while they won’t ever finish first, at least they won’t be ... Full Review
"Gentle, old-fashioned heart-tugger casts an insistent spell, even when she lays it on too thick...It’s a simple story that makes you ponder the age-old dilemma about women having it all. There’s so much warmth generated, you root for Jo to have just a little bit more." Full Review
"'Nice Girl' offers a tidy (if somewhat predictable) plot, but O’Donnell’s skilled direction exacts momentum, depth, and comic relief from a strong cast. Ross’ writing burns brightest during mother-daughter scenes...Jo wants rebirth, and 'Nice Girl' exposes her first brave step toward independence – openness." Full Review
"So much of 'Nice Girl' is so observant, so accurate, and so unsentimental that it's a sad duty to report that it doesn't fully satisfy...Too many of the later scenes don't build dramatically. Just when the characters' emotions should be reaching a boiling point, the playwright resets the temperature at medium." Full Review
"The flaws in the script are masked by smooth direction, and by some lovely performances by the would-be couple...If her oft-stated regrets start feeling uncomfortably like an annoying self-pity, 'Nice Girl' is rescued from such wallowing by the presence of two other characters." Full Review
"The most shocking thing about the Labyrinth Theater’s latest offering is that this troupe, known for its intensity, would choose such a tame and familiar vehicle as Melissa Ross’ 'Nice Girl.' Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with that. This is a solid, sentimental and ultimately satisfying production; just not a terribly jarring or original one." Full Review
See it if If you like great stories about real people. Just go and see every show at this theater, they always do a great time.
Don't see it if If you don't like a good drama. There is not fluff to this, just real people and their real shitty lives.